Italian Prosecutor Claims Malta Authorities Uncooperative In Mafia-Related Enquiries

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jun 30, 2017

Concerns recently suspended-MGA licensed CenturionBet operator

Italian prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, of the Catanzaro Tribunal, who is probing alleged mafia-related links  between the Calabria-based Arena clan and recently suspended Maltese-licensed online gaming company CenturionBet, claims the Maltese authorities have been uncooperative and are delaying its investigation.

According to Malta Today, Italian authorities have requested assistance from Malta in questioning a former Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) official and a trust lawyer in connection with the investigation.

The investigation dubbed ‘Jonny’ claims the Arena clan trafficked stolen archeological artifacts, the illegal operation was linked in part to CenturionBet and its bet1128 online operations.

Malta Attorney General Peter Grech, however, refuted the Italian prosecutors allegations, saying: “I cannot comment on the merits or the specifics of the case but it is not correct to state that Malta is refusing to answer. The police are handling the matter.”

The case goes back to the arrest of 68 alleged members of the Italian mafia group “Ndrangheta” who authorities said siphoned off Euro 30 million in state funds through a Catholic charity linked to food supply at Italy’s largest migrant reception centre.

In a parting shot, Gratteri said the sheer number of online gambling operations licensed by the MGA should be viewed as “very suspicious”.

“There is something that doesn’t add up on the legislative level or at the level of controls… we need to look further into the matter, not only at a judicial level but also at administrative and political levels,” he said.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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